Wikinarco: mapping narcoviolence

Over the weekend, I tweeted a question: is anyone using Google Maps or another online mapping service to chart incidents of drug-related violence in Mexico (and/or Central and South America)? The one reply I received was this:

In the screengrab above, I've selected a period of incidents from January through September 2011; I've also selected an option to display the currently-known territory controlled by Los Zetas. The site allows you to view approximate territorial control boundaries for each of the major cartels.

(thanks, @SinkDeep)


  1. Even though the site is in Spanish, it’s an eye opener.  My perspective on this problem is so Ameri-centric that I really thought of the crime as a border problem (a Juarez problem, even).  I don’t know what most of the site means, but it’s clear to me that Juarez is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I can think of three ways for the United States to actually help Mexico with this:
    1)  Address the causes of the United States’ drug problem, and find creative ways to reduce demand for illegal drugs
    2)  Legalize drugs altogether, and replace ruthless gangsters with ruthless corporations
    3)  Make it easier for smugglers to move their cargo on the ocean than on land

    1. You’ve got the right ideas! 

      1)  Make drug use while driving or excessive use in public a punishable crime just like alcohol – and while we’re at it, shore up that weak-ass mess with much harsher penalties.  But otherwise…

      2)  Legalize the stuff so that American farmers can grow & sell a profitable crop.  And tax the hell outta the stuff just like tobacco, with 100 of the tax proceeds going to education funding – a considerable amount of which would be used for strong, vigilant anti-drug campaigns just as we’ve done with tobacco.

      3)  Treat smugglers like the TERRORISTS that they are.  Bust their asses and dump ’em in the darkest, filthiest corner of GitMo ya can find.  (For that matter, we need to categorize a lot more of our domestic criminals as TERRORISTS and deal with them just as we would foreign terrorists.).

  2. I urge anyone slightly alarmed by this to listen to this:

    … and read Bowden’s book. Drug money is in the process of creating a living hell in Latin America. And the “solutions” proposed by bought-and-paid-for politicians only speed the apocalypse for the innocents. According to Bowden the Zetas were born out of the military and police squads created to “control” the problem. Kind of a horror-film version of the sorcerer’s apprentice. One of the saddest stories I’ve ever been aware of. I love Mexico and despair for its future. And its spreading to Guatemala like a cancer. Really heartbreaking.

  3. There’s many blogs in Mexico on the topic, updated daily.
    One of the best examples is, including a “translate” function on the upper left hand corner, but be warned, there’s some nasty imagery that is NSFW nor for the squeamish.

  4. Another example is Blog Del Narco (below in Google English translation).  Noted for gory photographs, altho they have changed their blog format and toned down the gore somewhat in the past few weeks / months.

  5. The map above is pretty detailed and gives newspaper clippings supporting each of the incidents.
    I’m pretty sure I saw it on BB first, so I’m surprised it’s not been mentioned.

  6. There is a 2011 map there as well. If you click on the creator’s name you will see it. Last entry is a couple of days ago so it’s being kept up to date.

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